Thank you, Esquire, for recognizing us for what we truly are (“Women We Love ... And Women We Don’t,” August). In a society that places beauty before brains, and legs before love, it is extremely gratifying to know there are still men in the world who go beyond that.
TWENTY-EIGHT YEARS AGO, Esquire’s November issue carried Norman Mailer’s extraordinary “Superman Comes to the Supermarket,” about the Democratic convention in Los Angeles. Mailer’s hard-edged thinking, his precise observation, and most of all his prescient insight into the mythology of JFK made “Superman” a classic example of political reporting.
My assignment: To check out what’s become of our sexual nature. By visiting a Club Med. I’d been to only one before, in Bora-Bora. Main memory is stumbling around at 2:00 A.M. from bunker to bunker rapping on doors—“Mary Jane? Mary Jane?”—until one finally opened:
It's the softest of soft felt hats, the lightest fedora you can buy. It can be molded into any shape or even rolled up and stuffed into a back pocket; it’s that soft. “The trilby is the most expressive hat a man can wear,” says Arthur Grodd of Paul Stuart, which sells hundreds of trilbies every year.
You don't have to be from the Mississippi Delta, but it probably helps. Playing the blues harp is a lazy business of slow bends and muddy water. The technical term here is wailing, and it’s temperament, really, as much as skill. Because once you learn to suck and blow, the rest is attitude.
Not that anybody means to be a slouch in the appreciation department, but buried deep within one of those nethermost cranial niches where all our major secrets are stashed lies a bald fact. The real reason most of us fight the day-before-Thanks-giving airport rabble is pure and simple gluttony—drumsticks bigger than a pro tackle’s thighs, mashed potatoes puddled with gravy, and enough bread stuffing to mortar half of downtown Cleveland.
No wine should be served before its time, but in Chile the principle has been carried to extremes. Half a millennium, by any standards, is a long wait. On the other hand, the beginnings were not all that auspicious. Spanish missionaries, following right behind the conquistadors, introduced viticulture to Chile in the sixteenth century to ensure a steady supply of altar wine.
Covering cam-shaped slabs of glass, the new Ambo tables are a transparent hommage to the kidney-shaped table we associate with the 1950s. The trick of the Ambo is to marry the familiar free-form or blob shape of this icon of Ike to the characteristic material of modernism—glass.
You have been there, too. At the airports, I mean, and the railroad stations, and the bus depots. And seen the things we carry now to carry our things in. The bags, I mean, slung from our shoulders like spring lambs, as if we were shepherds off to the shearing.
<p>IT’S FUNNY how a man can live his whole life—a life filled with heroism and downfalls, fatherhood and courage and pain and introspection—and no one notices. No one outside the man’s family and his small group of friends. It’s funny what television can do.</p>
<p>THERE IS A SCAFFOLD around the oak tree in back of Bill Laimbeer’s new house, which overlooks Upper Straits Lake in a suburb north of Detroit. A man is on top of the scaffold with a chain saw. The man’s truck identifies him as THE CHAIN SAW ARTIST, perhaps for all of Michigan, or the whole Great Lakes region.</p>
<p>RIGHT, I REMEMBER that olive oil got transferred from the heart-harming to the heart-healthy list a year or so ago. And now, easy little twelve-minute bike rides may keep you nearly as healthy, if not as fit, as the hallowed half-an-hour-four-times-a-week-at-eighty-percent-of-maximum workouts.</p>
Few urban rituals have retained their splendor like the celebrations that follow the opening of a Broadway play. After the curtain falls, actors and actresses in silk tuxedoes and designer dresses can still be observed mingling glamorously with theater investors, called angels, a word that might well refer to their apparent willingness to lose on a single glittering evening all the money they’ve put into a production.
During the last couple of years a phenomenon known as code-sharing has become a fixture in air travel. Code-share agreements allow passengers to move between flights by a major airline and a commuter airline, all on one ticket issued by the major, thereby avoiding ticketing and checking in a second time.
The insurance business is unlike, say, the widget business. The maker of widgets knows his cost per widget and hence can price his widgets accordingly. The insurance company, on the other hand, has to set a price on the policies it sells without knowing their actual cost, which won’t be known until the claims come in.
This guy joined our shop recently, took the title of vice-president, an entry post as rare as hen’s teeth these days and twice as valuable. The thing about Busher, who seems otherwise to be quite an adequate human being in every way, is that he gets in shortly after dawn and wanders around the floor, ostentatiously wondering where the action is.
He hauled the two-by-fours and hammered the nails himself when he started the New York Shakespeare Festival thirty-four years ago, and at sixty-seven, Joseph Papp is ready to go at it again. He wants to create a national theater patterned on Shakespeare’s own company, an “arts community partly making it on its own, partly funded by government patronage.
<p>For a change, let us agree not to separate fact from fantasy. A political convention, like a wedding or commencement or any rite of passage, is always as much about feeling as about circumstance, about character as much as issue, and probably a good deal more about dreams than what we generally mean by reality. </p>
<p>The Republican Convention is history now, and history didn’t look too good down in New Orleans, sapped and battered by eight years of Ronald Reagan. Before I develop that thought, though, I feel it’s high time I said a few words about my family.</p>
<p>He still has the tattoo on his left hand, the one he got from a Mexican gypsy while whacked out under Patti Smith’s spell. She got a lightning bolt; he got a hawk moon because he was born under a skinny November moon. It is a dark, pencil-thin arc on the back of his hand, and seeing it is a jolt, like looking at an artifact, a reminder that the forty-five-year-old man in a freshly pressed white shirt has lived several lifetimes.</p>
<p>WHEN MY FATHER stopped breathing, I tried to start his lungs again by blowing air through his lips. Then I put my arms around him. My mother and sister joined in the embrace. I could hear my sister and my mother crying, and then I could hear myself.</p>
IT MUST HAVE BEEN something like the first time the Parisian art world encountered a Picasso portrait of a woman with all three of her eyes on one side of her face. Such was the reaction when Claude Montana’s designs first appeared on the international fashion stage.
<p><strong>From the back </strong>she looks like a stick figure drawn by a child. From
any angle, she clearly aspires to be both a rebel and a waif. Her abundant hair
has been likened to a bird’s nest, a furry wigwam, a lion’s mane. It is going
gray at the temples.
At Lech you could ski in Hemingway's tracks, if only it would stop snowing
<p>EXPLOSIONS ECHO in the peaks. The snow has been falling for days. The death toll is in the double digits—no one knows for sure. One hundred and four automobiles disappeared yesterday, buried alive under shifting mountains of white. Beautiful machines, the best money can buy.</p>
<p>In recent years, Boston has become an important restaurant town, with first-rate French food, fine seafood, nostalgic New England fare, and exciting modern American cooking all over town. What it didn’t have were good little bistros serving provincial cooking—a vacuum Hamersley’ Bistro has handily filled in a section of South Boston fast becoming gentrified.</p>
On page 162: Polo by Ralph Lauren suit ($665), vest ($135), shirt ($97.50), and tie ($40) at Polo/Ralph Lauren, New York and Washington, D.C. Suit at Barneys New York, shirt at Bloomingdale’s, New York. For information contact: Polo/Ralph Lauren, 40 West Fifty-fifth Street, New York, New York 10019.
Heard the words torch and frontier lately? Seen a familiar head of hair? Let’s put it this way: if JFK is up there in heaven, he must be having one hell of a time. No ghost since Hamlet’s father plays so well night after night. Boston-Austin. Dukakis-Bentsen.